Thinking of attending a UU service..with kids-Update - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-15-2010, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a self described Pagan, I follow the seasons, and honor nature in all it's beauty but I stopped following any real path years ago. I have gone to UU discussions a few times in the past and met some very nice people along the way. We have pretty much not given our kids any religion to follow as dh and I do believe that each person finds truth within themselves, but lately my 7 yr old DS mainly has been asking many questions about religions, and why we don't go to church or have communion etc like his friends at school..I even had to explain to him why DH and I don't agree with boy scouts because they don't support gays or religious beliefs other than the "christian" paths..in essence he is at the point where we knew eventualy they would all be and starting to look for his own truths, I have been around enough UU's to know that its the perfect place to begin his journey without disregaurding anyone elses journey in our family. As with the UU church they will have the opportunity to learn from many different people on many different paths. So a new UU church has opened down the street here, and I have been on the mailing list/yahoo group for awhile now. The congregation seems very family friendly and they have RE for the kids set up in the new space..My concerns are that A: my kids have never been given any religious views to go on at all ever..I was raised atheist and my husband catholic..neither of us follows these paths now but we havent given our kids that basis to go on. So how would they fit in if we went to a few services? B: My DD has an intellectual disability and has a really bad time with retention and her social skills are not of 9 yr old but more of a 5 yr old..should I talk to them about her beforehand make sure they know there are issues with her so there isnt some huge shock? C: I am nursing a 3month old, I know its my right to nurse anywhere at anytime..but I dont want to make anyone uncomfortable especialy the first time we go! Is it common at UU churches for mothers to nurse? is there an unspoken agreement to nurse in private? if so is there usualy a space set up for that?

Thanx for reading!

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#2 of 13 Old 09-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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You won't know it until you try it. UU Pagan here, we've been active with the UU church since before DS was born.

WRT your concerns:

a) UU churches approach RE in a variety of ways. Some have more structure than others. I think most of the programs should have a way to incorporate and encourage a raw beginner in religious studies. But you'd have to talk to someone in that church's RE program to know for sure.

b) Yes, I would tell them ahead of time.

I was a Youth advisor (high school age) at my previous church for three years, and am starting out this new year as a youth advisor for my new church. At the high school level definitely they try to encourage inclusivity, building community among the entire group.

I was checking out materials on the UUA website last night, and it had some information on including special needs children in the RE curriculum. Every church is different, but they *should* work with you to make sure she is included and happy.

c) It totally varies, depending on the people and the church. In general, many UUs are like MDC mom's, trying to AP and protect the environment etc. Some UU buildings, especially converted from other churches, may have a "cry room" to use. Most of the one's I've seen don't.

Some of the members (often, but not always, older) can be quite set in their opinions.

I've nursed DS, as a toddler, in the back of our current church, sans cover. One time in particular, we were a little late and I sat next to an older woman. I worried about what she'd think, so I was using my hands to minimize the showing off. At some point in the service she whispered in my ear about it being so nice to see children breastfeeding.

I was in a small group, and nursing DS as a newborn. Another member who wasn't married and had no children was a little uncomfortable, but he mentioned that the minister of another nearby UU church breastfed her twins at UU Board meetings.

If you get bad comments, they are NOT going to be representative of the congregation as a whole.

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#3 of 13 Old 09-15-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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ive been thinking of going too... im an eclectic pagan, dh is mostly athiest with a taoist/spiritual leaning... but my oldest dd loves everything religion. every religion. just like her mama.

i thought it might be nice to go and see how it is... but the website threw me off- talking about tithing and that they prefer you to come every week, become a volunteer etc etc... it made me feel like it wasnt maybe the right place to just drop by and see if we like it? im nervous about feeling pressured to "join"...

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#4 of 13 Old 09-15-2010, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well i posed my questions to the yahoo group as well, and got an email from 1 of the members. She seems very nice and I am going to tour the church and meet up with her tomorrow. I was told they have about 100 people in the congregation and the sunday school rooms have about 4-6 kids in each. Sunday will be a scavenger hunt for the kids so I think we are gonna go to that as I know my kids will love it and its a really informal way for them to meet with other kids there.

tallulahma I really didnt get that vibe from our local congregations site, there is lotsa information on committees and groups the like to get involved if 1 chooses but it doesnt seem to pressure the visitors into anything. as kcstar said we wont know til we try.

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#5 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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i know. i keep telling myself it cannot hurt to try.

i actually looked at the site for the church 15 minutes in the opposite direction and it seems more welcoming... we may give it a try this weekend.

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#6 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
i know. i keep telling myself it cannot hurt to try.

i actually looked at the site for the church 15 minutes in the opposite direction and it seems more welcoming... we may give it a try this weekend.
You sound like me. I want to check it out, but I am always so hesitant about meeting big groups of people lol

I will updare sunday on how it went

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#7 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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It sounds like your concerns have been addressed. I hope your visit goes well.

I thought you, and maybe others on this thread, might be interested in this blog post by a UU Minister regarding nursing in services: "What Would You Do? -- Breastfeeding Edition"

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#8 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
It sounds like your concerns have been addressed. I hope your visit goes well.

I thought you, and maybe others on this thread, might be interested in this blog post by a UU Minister regarding nursing in services: "What Would You Do? -- Breastfeeding Edition"
Thank you so much, that was very interesting! Ohio is also one of those states where a woman can breastfeed anywhere. And any place that denies that right can be sued for discrimination. I am just one of those people who tries to be aware of other peoples' feelings and don't want to make anyone uncomfortable

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#9 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So as promised here is our update.

We got there about 1/2 hour early..big crowds tend to overwhelm me so I wanted to be there before alot of people started piling in. Our first stop was the greeting table where a very nice lady helped to make the kids name tag buttons. I chatted with a few people as they came in, including a few people from the email list. Then we stopped at the kids table where they got a coloring packet of the 7 principals (kids version) and I registered them. We were shown downstairs to the classroom/nursery area, and the kids immediately started playing with the teenagers who are in charge of childcare. A few more kids came in, and then it was time to go upstairs for the start of the service. My oldest dd who has the disability sat next to an older lady who helped her read the words to sing along, and my son sat with a friend from school (this was their 2nd time there) whom he helped read the words to sing along. My 4yr old sat with me and the baby and kept bugging me to go back downstairs. There were some announcements, lighting of the chalice and kids chalice then the kids were swept away to do a treasure hunt in the cemetary.; they also did headstone rubbings,oragami,colored flags..meanwhile the service upstairs was an interesting sermon/history lesson on tolerance (and lack thereof in our society) afterwards we had coffee and snacks and i chatted with a few ppl before we headed out. On the way home my kids told me they loooooooooved it. they begged me to go back again next sunday and every sunday forever lol. So all day, they have been talking about church and how much fun they had and reciting the 7 principals from their coloring packets.

I did nurse the baby almost through the whole service..she comfort nurses alot! nobody even blinked. at one point, she popped off the breast and started cooing at it and the lady next to me giggled but that was about it.

All in all it was a really good experience for all of us, and we will be going back again next week.

tallulahma Did you visit as well?

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#10 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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It sounds like a great first visit!
One question- did the kids have to go with all the others or was it just whoever wanted to go?

We didn't go- dh is reallllly hesitant to go.he went to a private religion based school and just refuses to go to any church... Im pretty nervous to go alone with all three kids.

I'm working on him though.

I'm super jealous after this update though!

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#11 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
It sounds like a great first visit!
One question- did the kids have to go with all the others or was it just whoever wanted to go?

We didn't go- dh is reallllly hesitant to go.he went to a private religion based school and just refuses to go to any church... Im pretty nervous to go alone with all three kids.

I'm working on him though.

I'm super jealous after this update though!
Well they invited all the kids to go, none of them declined but I was told if any of them wanted to stay with me there were welcome to. The moment my 4yr old found out there was food he was ready to come back to me and

My husband did not go with us either, the kids were fine really..they were in the kids area and had a blast, I kept the baby with me the whole time. My dh is not into the whole organized religion thing, and was also forced to go to church. He did ask some questions to the kids and me when we came home..so that tells me he might be open to attending at some time in the future. maybe...

I was REALLY impressed at the end of the sermon that the minister said "blessed be"

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#12 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Your visit sounds wonderful! I'm so glad.

Thanks for letting us know.


Tallulahma - My DH is also rather anti-organized religion and does not attend with us. This makes it harder, but attending is sooo worth it! Of course, I only have one child. Maybe one or two of your kids could stay home with your husband the first time you visit and then once you see what it's like maybe he will be less hesitant to go with you or maybe you will feel more comfortable that you will be fine with all your kids with just you. Good luck!

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#13 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
Your visit sounds wonderful! I'm so glad.

Thanks for letting us know.


Tallulahma - My DH is also rather anti-organized religion and does not attend with us. This makes it harder, but attending is sooo worth it! Of course, I only have one child. Maybe one or two of your kids could stay home with your husband the first time you visit and then once you see what it's like maybe he will be less hesitant to go with you or maybe you will feel more comfortable that you will be fine with all your kids with just you. Good luck!
i was thinking of maybe going with just the baby... but I get so nervous entering into a group for the first time. life is a constant opportunity for growth though... I need to change my nervousness into excitement or something

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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